Dean of the College of Liberal Arts, Norfolk State University
Cassandra Newby-Alexander is the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts, professor of history, and director of the Joseph Jenkins Roberts Center for African Diaspora Studies at Norfolk State University. Dr. Newby-Alexander has received numerous awards and commendations including the William M.E. Rachal Award for best overall article for 2018 on Sarah Garland Jones in the Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, the Distinguished Service Sward on behalf of the 400 Years of African American History Commission, the Juneteenth organization’s “Junnie” Award for Outstanding Historical Research, and the 2019 Humanitarian Award from the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities.
Her book publications include Virginia Waterways and the Underground Railroad (2017), An African American History of the Civil War in Hampton Roads (2010), co-authored Black America Series: Portsmouth (2003), Hampton Roads: Remembering Our Schools (2009), and co-edited Voices from within the Veil: African Americans and the Experience of Democracy (2008).
In addition, Dr. Newby-Alexander has published numerous articles including “Vivian Carter Mason: Securing Civil Rights in Norfolk, Virginia, 1943-1982,” Dr. Sarah Garland Jones: Beyond Race and Gender in late 19th Virginia,” “Vivian Carter Mason: The Community Feminist,” “In Search of the ‘Twenty and Odd’: Reclaiming the Humanity of America’s First Africans in the Virginia Colony” in Engaging the African Diaspora in K-12 Education; and “Laura E. Davis Titus: Feminine Leadership in Freedom’s First Generation” in Women Claiming Freedom: Gender, Race, and Liberty in the Americas. Her upcoming article is “Hampton Roads and Norfolk, Virginia as a Way-Point and Gateway for Enslaved Persons Seeking Freedom” in Sailing to Freedom: Maritime Dimensions of the Underground Railroad.
Newby-Alexander has received grants totaling over $800,000. In addition to her grant and scholarly activities, Newby-Alexander was the co-chair of the Virginia Commission on African American History Education in the Commonwealth, an important special Commission established by Virginia Governor Ralph Northam. She also serves on numerous boards including the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation, the Virginia Law Foundation, the 2019 Commemoration Commission, Historical Commission of the Supreme Court of Virginia, the Norfolk Sister City Association, and WHRO: a PBS-Affiliate.
Dr. Newby-Alexander has also appeared on a number of national programs, including the BBC series, “The British role in America’s Tainted Past,” C-SPAN on the 2019 African Landing Day program at Fort Monroe (August 2019); C-SPAN’s broadcast of the Library of Congress Kluge Center’s Symposium on 1619’s Cultural Exchange (February 2018); Talk of the Nation (in 1998); and The History Channel’s broadcast of Tavis Smiley Presents the “State of the Black Union 2007: Jamestown, The African American Imprint on America.” Other programs include the History Channel documentary on Race, Slavery and the Civil War, and on C-SPAN when it filmed the 2010 Virginia Sesquicentennial Conference at NSU entitled, “Race, Slavery, and the Civil War: The Tough Stuff of American History.”
Dr. Newby-Alexander has served as an historical consultant for numerous agencies and initiatives, including Determined: The 400-Year Struggle for Black Equality exhibition in early October 2018 with the Virginia Museum of History and Culture; “Lynching in Virginia” and “King in Virginia” subcommittees for the Dr. Martin Luther King Memorial Commission; and Forgotten Soldier exhibition with the Jamestown Settlement Museum the American Civil War Museum. She has also consulted with the Casemate Museum at Fort Monroe, Hampton History Museum, Virginia Humanities, Portsmouth Museums, Obsidian Productions LLC for the Moton Museum, and the Underground Railroad Educational and Cultural Program.
Program Director, NSF
Michelle Claville is a Program Director at the National Science Foundation in Alexandria, Virginia. There, she is assigned to the Historically Black Colleges and Universities Undergraduate Program (HBCU-UP) and the Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (LSAMP) program, both of which are housed in the Division of Human Resource Development, Directorate of Education and Human Resources. Claville is the Assistant Dean for the School of Science, and a Professor of Chemistry at Hampton University (Hampton, Virginia). Over the last 17 years, Claville has made several advances in scholarship as evidenced by her grantsmanship, research and publications. As a staunch advocate for broadening participation of underrepresented people in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), she has mentored scores of individuals including, students (high school, undergraduate and graduate students), and post-doctoral associates in physical organic chemistry research on biomolecules and nanomaterials. Furthermore, she has established STEM research and education programs that provided financial and professional development support for students and early career faculty. Claville received the PhD in Chemistry, a BS in Chemistry, and a BA in English, from the University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida. Claville proudly recognizes her faith and her family as being essential to her accomplishments.
Divison Director, HRD NSF
Dr. Diana Elder began her academic career at Northern Arizona University (NAU), where she earned a B.S. in Geology, a B.S. in Physical Sciences, and an M.S. in Quaternary Studies. While completing her graduate studies, Dr. Elder worked for the United States Geological Survey (USGS) Branches of Astrogeology and Western Regional Geology, Los Alamos National Laboratory, and the Desert Research Institute. Dr. Elder earned her Ph.D. in Geological Sciences at the University of California – Riverside. After completing her Ph.D., Dr. Elder returned to Northern Arizona University, where she holds the rank of Associate Professor of Geomorphology. Dr. Elder’s most recent appointment is as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs for NAU’s College of the Environment, Forestry, and Natural Sciences. Dr. Elder served as a Program Director for the Directorate for Biological Sciences in the Division of Biological Infrastructure from 2010-2012, and became Division Director for EHR’s Division of Human Resource Development in January 2020.
Assistant Director, NSF
Dr. Karen Marrongelle is the Assistant Director of the National Science Foundation (NSF) for Education and Human Resources (EHR). She leads the EHR directorate in supporting research that enhances learning and teaching to achieve excellence in U.S. science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education.
Prior to joining NSF, Marrongelle was dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Portland State University and Professor of Mathematics and Statistics, where she oversaw 24 departments and programs across the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences.
In addition to her work as dean, Marrongelle, has served as a faculty member in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at Portland State University since 2001. Prior to her appointment as dean, she held positions as the Vice Chancellor for Academic Strategies and Assistant Vice Chancellor for Academic Standards and Collaboration with the Oregon University System.
From 2007-2009, Marrongelle served on a rotation as a program officer at NSF and led numerous grants, collaborating with researchers nationally and internationally to improve undergraduate mathematics education and K-12 mathematics professional development.
Program Director, NSF
Carleitta Paige-Anderson currently serves as Program Director for the Historically Black Colleges and Universities Undergraduate Program (HBCU-UP) in the Division of Human Resource Development at the National Science Foundation (NSF). Her academic journey began at Virginia Union University (VUU), where she developed a passion for basic science research and earned a BS in Biology. After obtaining a PhD from Wake Forest University and completing a post-doctoral fellowship at Johns Hopkins University, she returned to VUU. Over the years, she established a research program investigating biochemical signaling mechanisms in disease-causing bacteria and viruses. By leveraging her scientific expertise to integrate research into the academic curriculum, she was selected as a 2013-2014 Senior Fulbright Scholar in Surabaya, Indonesia at Universitas Airlangga. At VUU, she also served as the founding director of the VUU Center for Undergraduate Research, Dean of the University College, and Vice-President for Student Development and Success. Her collective efforts are rooted in enhancing the research and education capacities of HBCUs, a community she is excited to serve in her current role. Paige-Anderson attributes much of her success to the support of her family and friends.
Retired Program Officer, NSF
Claudia Rankins recently retired from the National Science Foundation where she served as a Program Officer in the Directorate for Education and Human Resources. She directed the Historically Black Colleges and Universities Undergraduate Program and the HBCU Excellence in Research program. Prior to this post, Dr. Rankins served at Hampton University for 22 years in a number of capacities, including endowed university professor, chair of the department of physics, assistant dean for research, and dean of the School of Science.
Her formal education includes military training, certification as translator and interpreter for German, French and English, a B.S. in Mathematics from Christopher Newport University, an M.S. in Statistics from Old Dominion University, an M.S. in Physics and a Ph.D. in Physics both from Hampton University.
Dr. Rankins is an advocate for STEM education and research at Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Her current research interests center around the history of STEM at these institutions. Her research in theoretical particle physics focused on the development of a model to describe distribution amplitudes and form factors of pseudoscalar mesons. Dr. Rankins is the co-founder of the Society of STEM Women of Color, Inc.
Program Director, HRD, NSF
Victor Santiago is a Program Director in the National Science Foundation’s Division of Human Resource Development (HRD). This division implements programs and activities that enhance the quantity, quality and diversity of human capital engaged in U.S. science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). A principal focus of HRD is to ensure access to and full participation in STEM through increased, improved and diversified opportunities; enhanced quality in the educational experience; and hands-on research experiences. In particular, HRD plays a central role in increasing opportunities in STEM education for individuals from historically underserved populations—minorities, women and persons with disabilities— and supports the development of the educators, researchers, and institutions dedicated to serving these populations. During his sixteen-year tenure at NSF, Santiago has served as Program Manager for several national STEM research and education programs. He also served as Acting Division Director, HRD and as Deputy Division Director, HRD. Prior to his appointment at the National Science Foundation, Santiago was an Associate Professor of Earth Science at Inter American University of Puerto Rico. There, he also held several administrative positions including Dean of Science and Technology. Santiago earned a PhD at the University of Michigan.
Marilyn J. Suiter
Program Director, EHR, NSF
Marilyn J. Suiter is a geologist and educator with more than twenty-five years of experience. She is a Program Director in the Education and Human Resources Directorate (EHR) at the National Science Foundation (NSF). Her responsibilities are in (geo) science education and diversity issues as they are implemented in K-12, undergraduate, and graduate education.
She is currently a program officer with the Centers for Research Excellence in Science and Technology (CREST) Program. Suiter’s career has included positions in science and in education, and in multiple sectors, including industry and not-for-profit.
Program Director, NSF
Emanuel Waddell joined the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) Department of Chemistry in the Fall of 2004, where he is a member of the Biotechnology and Materials Science Faculty. He is a graduate of Morehouse College (I.B.S., Chemistry, Physics) and Louisiana State University (PhD, Analytical Chemistry). His research at LSU was in the area of near infrared time-resolved fluorescence. Following the receipt of his doctorate, Waddell completed a National Research Council PostDoctoral Fellowship at the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Gaithersburg, MD where he became interested in the laser ablation of polymer substrates and its application in microfluidic (lab-on-a-chip) devices. Emanuel was tenured and promoted to Associate Professor at UAH in 2010. From 2010 to 2019, Waddell served as the campus coordinator for the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation. In 2015, Waddell was appointed as Associate Dean for the College of Science at UAH. From 2017 to 2019, Emanuel served as the national president for the National Society for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers (NOBCChE). Emanuel joined the National Science Foundation in July 2019 where he is a Program Officer with the HBCU-UP, CREST and HSI programs.
Iris R. Wagstaff
HBCU-UP/CREST PI-PD Meeting Lead and STEM Program Director, AAAS
Dr. Iris R. Wagstaff is a chemist, educator, mentor, researcher and science policy advisor. She currently serves as a STEM Program Director in the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Department of AAAS where she manages programs a ~$20 Million Dollar portfolio focused on broadening participation, research workforce development and inclusive innovation at the undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral levels. In this role she also manages several NSF-funded grants that support researchers and innovators from diverse backgrounds. She served as a 2015-2017 AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow at the DOJ National Institute of Justice Office of Investigative and Forensic Sciences where she developed and led an agency-wide diversity and inclusion initiative. She is a native of Goldsboro, NC with a BS and MS in Chemistry from UNC-Greensboro and NC A&T State Universities respectively; and a PhD in Science Education from North Carolina State University. She worked as a research chemist at the Dow Chemical Company for 15 years where she led analytical project teams and company-wide diversity initiatives. She has over 20 years of STEM outreach and advocacy developing strategic partnerships between industry, academia, and community organizations.
Iris is also a social scientist with a research focus on examining factors that predict science self-efficacy, science identity, and STEM career intent in K-12 and college students. She serves on the Boards of several organizations that include the National Organization of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers (NOBCChE), the Department of Defense STEM Education Consortium and Science, Engineering, and Math Links (SEM). She serves as an adjunct chemistry professor at UNC-Greensboro. She is the Founder and Executive Director of Wagstaff STEM Solutions, an education and diversity consulting company. She has received several honors that include the 2020 DC Metro HBCU Alumni Alliance Education Award, the 2019 BEYA Science Trailblazer Award, and the 2018 NOBCChE Presidential Award for Mentoring.
Associate Professor, University of West Georgia
Christopher Jett, associate professor of mathematics, explores how the persistence of Black men in STEM can help them thrive in the future.
Dr. Christopher Jett is an associate professor of mathematics in the College of Arts, Culture, and Scientific Inquiry at the University of West Georgia. He has served at the university since 2012, having earned his Ph.D. in teaching and learning with a concentration in mathematics education from Georgia State University in 2009 and bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mathematics from Tennessee State University in 2003 and 2005, respectively. Dr. Jett’s research focuses on high-achieving African American male mathematics/STEM students, critical race theory, and culturally relevant pedagogy.
Tennille D. Presley
Associate Professor, Winston Salem State University
Tennille D. Presley, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Physics at Winston Salem State University. She obtained her B.S. degree in Interdisciplinary Physics from North Carolina A & T State University, and acquired her M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Biophysics from The Ohio State University. Dr. Presley has received numerous internal, as well as external grants from both NSF and NIH. She was a scholar in the NIH Programs to Increase Diversity Among Individuals Engaged (PRIDE) in Health-Related Research, Visiting Faculty at Brookhaven National Laboratory, and served as a U.S. Delegate for the International Conference on Women in Physics. Currently Dr. Presley is a NSF ASCEND Faculty Fellow. She has an extensive record of national and international presentations, highlighting her scientific research and experience in biophysics, mentorship, advocacy and integrative learning. Dr. Presley has published over a dozen articles in free-radical research, and is the author of the book: “Biophysics of the Senses”.
Vice Chancellor for Research and Strategic Initiatives Southern University and A&M College
Dr. Michael A. Stubblefield serves as the Vice Chancellor for Research and Strategic Initiatives (ORSI) at Southern University and A&M College. He received his BS degree in mechanical engineering from Southern University and his PhD in engineering science from Louisiana State University. As Vice Chancellor, Dr. Stubblefield serves as the University’s representative to enter into grants and contracts and oversees their execution and closure. In addition to providing technical and administrative oversight of strategic initiatives, research centers, institutes, and other research related functions, he supervises the Offices of Sponsored Programs and Governmental Contracting Services, and the Louisiana Small Business Development Center (LSBDC) at Southern University. He has been a direct awardee of grants and contracts from agencies including the National Science Foundation, US Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, NASA, Army Corps of Engineers, and the EPA, as well as from state agencies and private companies. He has served as lead PI for the HBCU-UP Implementation and ACE Implementation projects. Dr. Stubblefield’s topics of interest range from pre-college experiential programs, university capacity building, curriculum/laboratory development, materials science, energy, and undergraduate/ graduate research experiences, and small business/economic development. Through his office, Dr. Stubblefield has established mentor-protégé agreements between university and associations, national labs, and private firms.
Associate Professor, Virginia State University
Dr. Cheryl Talley examines factors that lead to lasting behavioral change, specifically those related to high academic achievement. In studies funded by the National Science Foundation, Dr. Talley and her colleagues have sought to reveal the role that affective factors such as academic identity and emotional regulation play in student success. With her training in affective neuroscience, Dr. Talley utilizes various strategies, including mindfulness training to help students develop strong academic identities and associated behaviors. The successful intervention that was developed at Virginia State University is called Project Knowledge, and was based on a theoretical model created by Dr. Margaret Beale Spencer, the Phenomenological Variant of the Ecological Systems Theory (PVEST). Findings from Project Knowledge are now being used to inform interventions in other disciplines through collaboration with colleagues in the departments of Biology, Math and Computer Science at Virginia State. In addition, Dr. Talley serves as a lead researcher in a HBCU STEM collaboration led by a group at Morehouse College. Future plans include adopting Project Knowledge for grades K-12 by using technology to augment social emotional learning.
Distinguished Senior Advisor, Fielding Graduate University
Prior to his appointment as Distinguished Senior Advisor to the President of Fielding Graduate University, Dr. Orlando L. Taylor served as President for Strategic Initiatives and Research at that institution, where he was also the Principal Investigator and Director for an NSF-funded grant to advance women in the STEM fields into leadership positions at the nation’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities and at Tribal Colleges. Before that, he served in several senior leadership positions at Howard University, and as President of the Washington, D.C. campus of the Chicago School of Professional Psychology. He was one of the architects of the American Association of Colleges & University’s (AAC&U) National Science Foundation-funded Preparing Critical Faculty for the Future project.
Dr. Taylor has been a national leader for many years on issues pertaining to diversity and inclusion in higher education. He has been a particularly vigorous advocate and spokesperson on topics and issues relating to access and equity; and relating to preparation of the next generation of researchers and faculty members for the nation’s colleges and universities.
Professor, Howard University
Dr. Cynthia Winston-Proctor is a narrative personality psychologist. She is currently a Professor in the Howard University Department of Psychology and Principal Investigator of the Identity & Success Research Lab (ISRL) at Howard University. She is also the founder and Principal of Winston Synergy L.L.C., where her practice focus is the development, deployment, and testing of evidence-based models for personal development of women, corporate leaders, and African American adolescent girls. Her program of research centers on interdisciplinary psychological science research on identity, the psychology of success in lives, educational design, and STEM workforce development. To support this interdisciplinary program of research, Dr. Winston has been awarded more than ten million dollars of extramural funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF), the American Psychological Association, and the Association of American Colleges and Universities.